“Much that men and women know and think about life is conditioned by the media; to a considerable extent, human experience itself is an experience of media…as the church takes a positive, sympathetic approach to media, seeking to enter into the culture created by modern communications in order to evangelize effectively, it is necessary at the very same time that the church offer a critical evaluation of mass media and their impact upon culture.” Aetatis Novae a Pastoral Instruction on Social Communication" St. John Paul II
In June 2016, I joined Salt and Light TV and my first major assignment was to oversee the renovation, construction and eventual move of our operations to a new location, which would feature a brand-new state of the art broadcast studio and master control room. From our launch in 2003, Salt and Light TV has been available across Canada on cable and satellite television networks in standard definition format only. Even though we originally recorded many of our programs and documentaries in high definition, our television network was only offered in standard definition, primarily due to the high cost of high definition production and master control equipment and transmission services.
Alex Du, COO
Fast forward to 2017. High definition equipment is now more affordable and with the new IPTV cable television services from telephone companies, as well as improved compression technologies, it is now, more than ever, possible for us to provide our Canadian television viewers with a high definition television experience. So, with the office move, we saw an opportunity to upgrade our master control equipment to support high definition. Of course, to do so would still involve a great deal of logistics and money. When moving a television station to a new location, you have to ensure there is no disruption in service when you turn off the old location and start broadcasting from the new. This means you need to ensure that the cable and satellite companies who carry your television network can continue to receive your service uninterrupted even though the source of our service is changing location. Supporting high definition was adding an additional layer of complexity because not all cable and satellite television companies will initially distribute Salt and Light TV in high definition and would prefer to continue offering it in standard definition so we had to ensure that both formats could be available. Finally, not all of our existing content was available in high definition format so we needed to review our programming lineup and get all of this ready for Pentecost Sunday, our high definition launch date. Well, after many months of preparation, we are technically now ready to launch our high definition service and thanks to many generous donors, benefactors and the work of our good employees, we are now pleased to offer Salt and Light TV to our Canadian viewers in high definition.
Why is this significant? People may say that Salt and Light TV has broadcasted and fulfilled its mission for the past 14 years in standard definition. Why change now? Isn’t what you communicate more important than how you communicate it? There is no doubt that the meaning and spirit of the content we communicate is more important than whether it looks or sounds better, but television is an audio-visual medium and often the quality of the medium can enhance the impact of what is being communicated. High definition television gives you a wider screen, a clearer picture and better sound. These things help us communicate a more comprehensive and enhanced message. Watching live events on television in high definition such as Pope Francis interacting with Syrian refugees, the canonization of Mother Teresa, the 100th anniversary of Fatima and, of course, daily mass, can only increase the effectiveness of our efforts to evangelize and make these moments much more moving and impactful. Our partners, KTO
in France, Catholic TV
in Boston and Vatican TV
all offer programming to us in high definition. Now we can pass these programs on to you in high definition as they were originally recorded. We must use all the tools available to us to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the most effective and responsible manner, whether it be online streaming, social media platforms, video-on-demand services or television.
The move to our new location was a blessing and it also afforded us an opportunity to improve the technical quality of our television network and enhance and add to the many ways we proclaim Jesus Christ and the joy of the Gospel to the world.
Please check whether Salt and Light TV is available in high definition with your local cable or satellite television provider. If it is not available, please write or ask them when it will be available.
For more information, please visit http://saltandlighttv.org/hd